The League’s financial situation continues to be sound, based largely on surpluses from our regional and international congresses and healthy Epilepsia royalties. A breakdown of revenue and expenses are summarized in the pie charts below. For the first time, this includes information from the office of the International Director of Meetings, Richard Holmes, and his team in Dublin. Care needs to be taken, however, in not overestimating our future earning potential given the twin threats of open access publishing and shrinkage of the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to epilepsy.
With the above caveats in mind, the League has adopted a new investment policy geared to maintaining a balanced and diversified portfolio that will minimize risk and maximize returns. The goal is to ensure that the income from these investments is sufficient to cover our operating expenses from year to year, which currently substantially exceeds one million dollars annually.
In addition to our usual expenditure on the work of Commissions, Taskforces, congresses and membership services, the Executive Committee has identified two areas of special interest — new projects and development of the regional agendas. A total of 3% of the total investment portfolio will be deducted annually to underwrite these initiatives. Particular emphasis will be placed on proposals relating to education, epilepsy care and translational research.
During the course of 2004, ILAE and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) received jointly the substantial donation of $328,000 from EPICADEC (Epilepsy Care in Developing Countries), an amount raised from the Dutch population to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the epilepsy center Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland (SEIN). Their purpose was to improve epilepsy care in resource-poor countries. Because of the similarity of goals, the EPICADEC Executive Board agreed to make this sum available for suitable projects undertaken under the aegis of the Global Campaign against Epilepsy, our successful partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).
I’d like to mention just one more initiative — the Solidarity Fund. This is composed of contributions donated exclusively for the use of chapters in the developing world requesting assistance with payment of their annual dues. I’d like to thank the US, German, Swiss, Taiwanese and Italian chapters for their generous financial support.
It just remains to remind you that I am available to advise on any financial matters relevant to League business. My special thanks go to our Financial Officer, Donna Cunard, who is based in the Hartford office, for her efficient handling of our day to day financial affairs.
Martin J Brodie